Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his Senate floor speech blasting Senate Democrats for their conduct during the Kavanaugh confirmation process. They also unload on Antifa and the other menacing groups who berated Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife and forced them to leave a Washington restaurant. And they react to cable news fixture Michael Avenatti promising an air-tight case of misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh only to walk back his bravado and go silent on Twitter.

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The Map, the Model, and the Territory

 

The Map

Let’s start with a simple question. How long is the coastline of Lake Superior? Here, let me google that for you. “Shore length 1,729 mi (2,783 km) plus 997 mi (1,605 km) for islands”. Thanks, Wikipedia! Right away we can see a problem. Are you counting those islands or not? I’m saying count every last thing. All of it. Okay, include the islands. What other complications are we going to run into?

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What I Took Away From the PA Grand Jury Report

 

When I heard about the Pennsylvania grand jury report on child sexual abuse by priests, my reaction was “How can this still be going on?” I suspect that is what most people thought. I have now reviewed the report which I call the “Shapiro Report” after the state Attorney General (the report’s actual name is oddly non-descriptive) and wanted to discuss at least one takeaway. The report has caused a sensation on the news and Twitter with even conservative, Catholic commentators calling for heads-on-plates and withholding of gifts and tithes until the bishops come up with satisfactory answers. The report is largely prosecutorial in its tone and that makes sense since it comes out of the AG’s office. I would agree that it is a bombshell, but I suspect that is what the AG’s office was going for.

Before I reviewed this report, and I waited a while to do so, I decided to re-read the John Jay College of Criminal Justice report on clerical sexual abuse. That report was commissioned by the church in 2002 was in response to the Boston Globe “Spotlight” reports which also occurred that year. It was released two years later but starting in 2002 the Catholic Church adopted new policies concerning suspected child abuse for priests, lay people working with children, volunteers, and children themselves. The reason I am familiar with the report is that by 2007 or so I was volunteering in our parish as many folks do. I had to go through what is called VIRTUS training on how to spot and prevent child sexual abuse and I still have to update that training from time to time. This led me to seek out the John Jay report to help understand what had brought this all on. I can remember feeling a bit put upon at the time. After all, what did I do?

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No Excuses: Guns and Faith

 

We’ve arrived! My husband and I have taken a road trip, and the first part of our agenda is attending the Couples for Liberty five-day workshop at Hillsdale College—lessons on shooting guns and on understanding the Constitution. We originally signed up for the workshop in May, but we had court dates assigned for the same time and we had to be there. But we found out there were two slots open for Hillsdale’s September workshop. They let us make the switch, and we were delighted–

–until a few weeks ago I realized that Yom Kippur fell during the same week. (I thought I also had a conflict with Rosh Hashanah, but there wasn’t a scheduling problem.)

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Summer Highlights: The SCHØN Conference in Augsburg

 

Living Art and aesthetics in Augsburg  “Would you descend to Earth, queen adorned in light, the very dust would come alive.” More

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Norm MacDonald, #MeToo, and the Fatal Flaw in the New Morality

 

Twitter is a cesspool. As if we needed more evidence, legendary comedian and acclaimed author Norm MacDonald was targeted for saying words to a reporter that a microscopic minority of humorless scolds didn’t care for. That’s all the pretext needed to subject a person, famous or not, to Twitter’s two-hour hate.

The Hollywood Reporter interviewed MacDonald on Tuesday to preview his upcoming Netflix show. The affable Canadian politely spoke his mind. For better or worse, his mind works differently than the rest of ours, which is one of the reasons he’s so funny.

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Icon, Part 2: The Elevation of the Holy Cross

 

The second Great Feast of the Orthodox liturgical year is on September 14, and marks two related events: first, the finding of The True Cross by Saint Helen, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, and secondly, the recovery and restoration, by the emperor Heraclius, of the cross to Jerusalem after its theft by the Persian Empire in its last major war against the Romans. This feast day is notable for being the only Great Feast day that is not commemorating any Biblical or Biblically-implied event. It is also the last such Great Feast day until mid-November.

It is also a profound story of imperial conquests, defeats, and cycles of losing and re-finding, played out over 1700 years. It involves the Christianization of the Roman Empire, a brutal war for the very survival of that empire, coups, assassinations, the elevation of the Cross itself as the single prevailing symbol of the faith, and many figures who loom large in our histories even today. Its story begins even before the finding of the Cross, with a commoner named Helen, who son Constantine would fundamentally reorder the Roman world. The story echoes even today in rural Ohio, in small but ornate wooden box, where a tiny fragment of wood, almost too small to be worth noticing, carries with it the arc of Christian history.

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The Latest Non-Action From the Vatican: Another Synod

 

As reported by CNA/EWTN News: Pope Francis has called for all the presidents of the Catholic bishops’ conferences of the world to meet at the Vatican in February to discuss the issue of sexual abuse of minors. More

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Jonah Harpoons A Whale – Hilarity Ensues

 

The Editor of First Things magazine, R.R. Reno, gives Jonah’s latest book effort a well deserved fisking and makes some apropos observations about what populism means and who actually gets impaled on the horns of their own dilemma. Goldberg believes that the Miracle exists beyond rational justification—and therefore beyond critique. “There is no dialectic, inevitability, […]

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